Round XXIII - My Continuing Adventures As A San Francisco Entertainment Journalist

This Month: - A review of the film “Masked and Anonymous” starring Bob Dylan

August 2003 - On July 1, I attended a standing room only screening at the Embarcadero Theater for the new film Masked And Anonymous, starring Bob Dylan. Yes, that Bob Dylan. Rock stars and movie stars have forever tried to prove themselves worthy of both genres, some successfully (Bjork, Mandy Moore, Eminem) and some dismally (Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Madonna {notable exception – Evita), and some just plain boring (Justin and Kelly, do they even count?)

Legendary rock star and still prolific songwriter Bob Dylan is so old now, one would think the only thing he’d want to prove is an ability to still sell a CD or concert ticket and keep breathing. Unfortunately, Dylan, who plays legendary rock star Jack Fate in this pretentious, apocalyptic vanity embarrassment only proves his mind has gone and/or he has surrounded himself with idiots who have lost theirs. Larry Charles, a TV director for Seinfeld, Mad About You, and Curb Your Enthusiasm makes his feature film debut here and the line “Don’t Give Up your Day Job” has never been more applicable, especially in Dylan’s case. No offense, Mr. Zimmerman, but you can’t act your way out of a paper bag. The “plot” – something to do with a benefit concert, a dying dictator, a civil war and about 9,000 other things, each attempting to be some sort of profound parable, is so contrived and convoluted, it made me nauseous, dizzy and gave me a splitting headache.

Supposedly based on characters from Dylan’s most recent albums, Time Out of Mind and Love and Theft, the huge ensemble cast includes Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Mickey Rourke, Penelope Cruz, Val Kilmer, Luke Wilson, Bruce Dern and a million other household names. They must all be a) Dylan fans, b) friends of his or Larry Charles, c) hard up for work, d) all of the above. The real culprits are “screenwriters” Sergei Petrov and Rene Fontaine, (pseudonyms for Charles and Dylan, no doubt) for churning out this nonsensical drivel. Maybe diehard Dylan fans will find this film a deep and relevant piece of work, instead of the insulting piece of crap it actually is.

By the time you read this, the movie will probably be out of theaters.

To read other articles by Mizz Gold, click here!

Kim can be emailed by clicking here!